Last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, committed by thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump who surrounded and then smashed their way into the building as a joint session of Congress ground through the final steps in confirming Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, has become a watershed moment in American democracy like nothing we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. For Republicans who supported Trump through his months of denial of the result of the 2020 elections, culminating in Wednesday’s last deadly gasp of Trump dead-ender desperation, what was once considered a “harmless” means of extracting political support from Trump’s base is now a direct threat to their political futures.
For Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, after winning office as a no-compromise Trump devotee who never really tried to repudiate the “QAnon” conspiracy theory she was tagged as a supporter of early on, Wednesday’s insurrection was an unparalleled disaster that effectively shattered her entire raison d’être in politics. As readers know, Boebert’s support for Wednesday’s insurrection went well beyond signing on to the votes to challenge the results in swing states, in which she was joined by dozens of her Republican colleagues and for which many of them are facing calls to resign.
Today is 1776.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 6, 2021
This Tweet by Boebert early on Wednesday morning has been widely interpreted as an unambiguous call for the violence that ensued later that day, and has fueled the growing movement calling for Boebert to immediately resign for having helped incite Wednesday’s riot.
But there’s another question being asked today as the investigation into Wednesday’s deadly violence expands: did Rep. Boebert actually attempt to help insurrectionists find their targets as they stormed into the Capitol?
These are Tweets sent by Rep. Boebert to her over 350,000 followers on Twitter, whom we’re willing to postulate included at least some of the rioters who marched from Donald Trump’s speech near the Washington Monument to the Capitol. In Boebert’s ominous speech made shortly before the rioters breached the building, Boebert boasted how her “constituents” were outside. Boebert sent the first Tweet at 2:17PM Eastern Time, and the second a moment later–in literal real time with the breach of the Capitol by insurrectionists that NPR reports took place at 2:16PM.
This is battlefield intelligence, folks. The only question is whether Boebert consciously understood that she was supplying vital information to the insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol at that exact moment, or is just so impossibly ignorant in this life and death situation that she did not realize the stupendous security mistake she was making by broadcasting these details to her far-right followers.
Whether by cluelessness or collusion, these Tweets undeniably add a whole new dimension to Boebert’s responsibility for what took place on Wednesday. Boebert’s profound ignorance about how American elections work is not an excuse for the comfort, and possibly deliberate aid, she has provided to the violent insurrection against the body she was sworn into just days before.
These are unprecedented times, and Boebert’s name is forever linked now to an unprecedented crime.
We honestly hope this isn’t as bad as it might in fact be.